Monday, December 28, 2009


A few art movements were introduced in the early part of the 20th century. One of the defining art movements of this era was "cubism". Cubism had a great influence on both modern art and later generations of art. Even today, if we look at the art from the cubist movement, it looks contemporary and modern. Early 20th century Europe was at a great turning point and innovative art movements were appearing one after another all over the continent such as Fauvism in France, a forerunner of Cubism,expressionists such as the Brucke and the Blaue Reiter in Germany,and Futurism in Italy. This spirit of innovation had gradually been evolving since the the 19th century and it is said the Cubism innovative art movement was begun by Picasso and Braque.

Cubism can be defined as follows, "leaving the tradition of seizing natural objects from a single angle under the laws of perspective,a tradition which had existed since the Renaissance,and while shifting the viewing point of the object to different positions,at the same time dividing it into many fragments seen from various angles,and rearranging these fragments later became an important characteristics of Cubism". Cubism went through different phases over its short life, ranging from analytical to synthetic cubism. In its relatively short lifespan, much innovation occurred within the Cubism genre which has influenced later art movements.

The Cubist emphasized a flat, two-dimensional surface and rejected the idea that art should imitate nature, refusing traditional techniques such as perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro. Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso and French artist Georges Braques in Paris founded the movement before World War I. The movement is considered to have its roots in the work of Post-Impressionist, Paul Cezanne. It reduced everything to cubes and other geometrical forms. Cubist artists depicted drastically fragmented objects, sometimes showing multiple sides simultaneously. Cubism was the forerunner of abstract art.

Cubism can be regarded as a wide ranging art movement that lasted from 1907 until the middle of the 1920's. I recently designed the wood art in the photo as a tribute to Cubism. It was an interesting exercise in design for me with cubism in mind along with other criteria such as limited materials, stability, introduction of metal into the work, etc. The work depicts three levels of cubes, the larger virtual cube, the middle solid cubes, and the single dimension cubes in the form of inlay.